Weekly Recap: Fall sports come out swinging

Running+back+Devin+Keller+%2812%29+evades+a+defensive+player+as+he+carries+the+ball+downfield+during+the+Eagles+matchup+against+Burton+High+last+Friday.+The+Eagles+lost+57-22.+
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Weekly Recap: Fall sports come out swinging

Running back Devin Keller (12) evades a defensive player as he carries the ball downfield during the Eagles matchup against Burton High last Friday. The Eagles lost 57-22.

Running back Devin Keller (12) evades a defensive player as he carries the ball downfield during the Eagles matchup against Burton High last Friday. The Eagles lost 57-22.

Anna Vazhaeparambil

Running back Devin Keller (12) evades a defensive player as he carries the ball downfield during the Eagles matchup against Burton High last Friday. The Eagles lost 57-22.

Anna Vazhaeparambil

Anna Vazhaeparambil

Running back Devin Keller (12) evades a defensive player as he carries the ball downfield during the Eagles matchup against Burton High last Friday. The Eagles lost 57-22.

by Anna Vazhaeparambil, Aquila Co-Sports Editor

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Cross Country

For the past few months, ever since pre-season workouts began in the summer, the cross country team has been training extensively for upcoming meets this year. With a grueling exercise regimen, which includes running several miles every day, they hope to be ready for their upcoming meets.

“[I want to] improve as a runner, mentally and physically,” Dawson Chen (10) said, regarding his goals for this season. “As a sophomore now, it will also be nice to guide the freshman as well as be under the leadership of our captains, and I think, overall, we’ll have a much better-bonded team this year.” 

The team competes at the Lowell Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Golf

With the first week of practice over, the girls golf team is looking forward to playing against Sacred Heart Preparatory School on Tuesday, Sept. 3, and competing in the Chappy Wheeler Tournament in Palm Desert on Friday, Sept. 6. These will be the Eagles’ first matches of the year, excluding a scrimmage against Valley Christian Schools and Palo Alto High School last week on Aug. 28.

“I think we’re going to top off how we did last year, and that’s pretty amazing,” Andrea Thia (10) said of the girls’ expected performance this season. “[We’ve been] going to the range, practicing our long game and short game and just improving overall on our accuracy.”

Football

The football team played their first game of the year, and despite a tough loss of 57-22 against the Burton Pumas, the boys had a strong performance regardless, cheered on by Harker students, faculty and parents throughout the night. 

Quarterback Vijay Vyas (11) ran one touchdown, and two more were scored by tight end Marcus Anderson (11) and offensive lineman Arjun Duraivenkatesh (11). Running back Devin Keller (12) also stood out the whole, leading in total rushing yards by the end.

“The team played amazing. We all played great, we played for each other: when one man went down, the other one came in and was ready to go,” Vijay said after the game. “It was our first game and was all about getting experience at this point. [We hope] to learn from this and turn around and win a few games.”

The Eagles next host Washington High School on Friday, Sept. 6, at 7:00 P.M.

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  • Running back Devin Keller (12) evades a defensive player as he carries the ball downfield during the Eagles matchup against Burton High last Friday. The Eagles lost 57-22.

  • A group of juniors cheer at the varsity football game against Burton. The team next plays against Washington High this Friday, Sept. 6, on Davis Field.

    Saurav Tewari

Tennis

The girls tennis team will be playing their first match of the year at the 63rd Annual Santa Catalina Tennis Invitational this weekend, from Sept. 6 to Sept 7. After continuous training, they are excited to start competing with other schools in the area and officially kick off the season.

“It’s a lot of work because we have practice every day for two hours,” freshman Alissa Huda said of tennis practices. “But [there’s] been a lot of team bonding, and [we have become] a lot closer.”

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  • Hilari Fan (11) practices with the team at the Blackford tennis courts. The varsity girls tennis team next competes at the Santa Catalina Tennis Invitational this weekend.

  • Assistant coach John Paul Fruttero talks to the girls tennis team, going over a specific drill. “It’s a lot of work, because we have practice every day for two hours,” freshman Alissa Huda said of tennis practices. “But [there’s] been a lot of team bonding, and [we have become] a lot closer.”

Volleyball

On Thursday, August 29, the varsity, junior varsity and freshman volleyball teams all competed against and defeated teams from Branham High School, an impressive season opener all-around. 

The varsity girls had a particularly close game, with the score tied for the majority of the sets. Regardless, they were able to pull ahead every time and eventually won 3-0 with a score of 25-16, 25-18 and 25-15, while the junior varsity and freshman teams earned 25-10, 25-11 and 25-10, 25-17 respectively.

“For the past two years we have lost to Branham, so I think this is a great way to open the season. I felt like we did a really good job of playing together, communicating and supporting each other,” Ashley Jazbec (12) said. “I also liked how the whole community of Harker came together and was cheering — some alumni from the volleyball team were even here.”

After the varsity team participates in the Spikefest 1 Tournament on Saturday, Aug 31, all of the teams will compete against Mercy High School on Wednesday, Sept. 4. On Friday, Sept. 6, the freshman team will host Prospect High School at 4:00 P.M., with junior varsity and varsity playing Westmont High School right after at 5:00 P.M. and 6:30 P.M. respectively.

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  • Tara Ozdemir (10) celebrates after a point during the varsity girls volleyball match against Branham. The Eagles won 25-16, 25-18, 25-15.

  • Senior captain Emily Cheng dives to save a ball during the match against Branham. The team also competed in the Spikefest tournament this weekend.

  • Ashley Jazbec (12) performs a kill during the match against Branham. The girls next play against Mercy (Burlingame) on Wednesday.

Water Polo

Both the boys and girls water polo teams have been preparing for their first matches of the season in the next two weeks. Boys varsity will be competing in the Wilcox Tournament on Sept. 6 and Sept. 7, and boys junior varsity participated in the Leland JV Water Polo Tournament on Aug. 31.

All teams will be hosting Milpitas High School on Sept. 10, with boys varsity playing at 4:00 P.M., boys junior varsity at 5:15 P.M., and girls varsity at 6:15 P.M.“We have a pretty young team, so [our goals for this season are to] work together as a team, and ultimately put ourselves in a place where we can do really well in our league final tournament,” girls water polo coach Allie Lamb said. “It’s going to be a fun year, and everyone should come and watch us play.”

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  • The boys water polo team practices at the Upper School. The varsity boys water polo team will host Milpitas High on Sept. 10 for their first home game.

  • The boys water polo team practices at the Upper School. The varsity boys water polo team next competes at the Wilcox Tournament this weekend.